It’s time to get real. Sure, pregnancy does come with its perks, but the work can be rough. If you are expecting, then it is absolutely vital that you take the time to put your feet up and relax. After all, you don’t just have yourself to take care of, you have your baby as well. This is understandable, but at the same time, you also need to make sure that you do not ignore the person who lovingly got you into this position. Even though you may be technically doing the hard job, you have to remember that your partner may not be feeling 100%. It may be that they are wrought with anticipation and that there is a lot of uncertainty for them as well. This is especially the case if it is their first time being a parent. A lot of women feel inclined to think that their partners have it easy, but this isn’t always the case. If your partner doesn’t feel that strong bond that is innately happening to the mother, then this can leave them feeling both scared and feeling inadequate. This can cause them to feel somewhat alienated from the get-go. As a mother, it is important that you remember, for a lot of people, it doesn’t feel real until the baby is actually here. If you play everything right, then you may find that pregnancy is a fantastic time for you to prepare for feelings like this. You may even be able to put some work into your relationship too, so you can gear up for the ultimate shift. If you want to use this time to bond with your husband positively and if you want to make sure that they feel safe and supported at all times, then this guide should tell you everything you need to know.
1. Go Away For A Weekend
Pulling yourself out of your routine, even if it is just for the weekend, can be a great way for you to deepen your relationship. If you can make it work with the busy schedule you have now, then go for it. Remember, you don’t have to go away anywhere far. In fact, just staying at a hotel for the weekend or even the night can be just as refreshing.
You’ll be free from all of the normal routines and chores, and you may also find that you can bond with your partner and your baby better. Leave your electronics turned off, and even put your phone on “do not disturb” if you want. Now is the time for you to be spending as much time in each other’s arms so you can realize what security you have when you are together.
Getting away is also a very good way for you to talk about all of the changes that could be happening. You are both going to change over the next couple of months and if you do not take the time to talk about it, then this can leave you feeling both scared and isolated. If you want to bond with your husband and if you want to find out how they are truly feeling, then take the time to ask them what they are most excited about with the pregnancy. Be open-minded and really work to make sure that they are able to speak freely. If you can do this, then you will soon find that it is easier for you to work through any potential worries together, like the strong and powerful couple you are.
You don’t even need to get away to do this, in fact, sometimes having a nice dinner with each other or even having a movie night could help you to unwind and be present with each other. It may sound simple but just checking in now and again is one of the best things you can do for your husband. Pregnancy is a big change for both of you, so be mindful of this and respect the way they are feeling, even if you feel as though your changes are physically bigger. You can’t put a price on support, and by supporting your husband, you can get more support from them in return.
2. Keep Them In The Loop
Sometimes little updates can make a huge difference. Include your partner as much as possible throughout your pregnancy journey, regardless of how small the updates may seem. Learning together what stage your unborn child is at, how big they are or even what systems are developing at this moment in time is always a good thing.
You may not think much of it, but talking about things like this to your partner is a great way for you to keep them involved and it also helps them to feel more connected. It may be that your baby is developing eyelashes this week, that they are forming the waxy substance that covers their skin, or even that they are opening their eyes for the first time. If you are early in your pregnancy, you may find that your baby’s heart begins to beat at around six to seven weeks too. This can be phenomenal to see, and it is not difficult for you to book an early scan if you want to see this.
By doing things like this and by actively involving your partner at every stage of the process, you can be sure to help them feel more involved. Believe it or not, by talking about things like this, you can not only make them feel closer to the baby, but to you as well.
During this time, it is a good idea for you to talk to your husband about any new symptoms you may be experiencing. If you are early in your pregnancy, you may have a sudden aversion to the sausages you once loved. If you are later on in your pregnancy, you may be experiencing bad back pains or you may simply find it harder to navigate stairs because you can no longer see your feet. Small things like this may seem trivial and not even worth mentioning, but it can help your husband to keep up to date with the latest changes you are going through, both physically and mentally.
If your husband understands what you are going through, you may also find that they can step up and be more supportive. This could involve them holding your hand when you go up the stairs at a restaurant, or offering to prepare tea so you don’t have to handle ingredients that make your stomach churn. This allows them to be there for you more, and in turn, it allows you to rely on them more. This brings you both closer together, and prepares both of you for what lies ahead.
3. Give Him Props
You probably know this, but during pregnancy, you will lean on your partner a lot more than usual. It is imperative that you take the time to appreciate their efforts. You may feel as though your husband has absolutely nothing to worry about during this time. After all, you are the one who is pushing out a baby, right?
At the end of the day, you have to remember that this is a whole new world for your partner and in his head, there’ll be swirling fears and a lot of anxiety. If you want to support him and feel closer within your marriage, then it is a good idea for you to respect him when he talks and to also listen. Don’t interrupt with your own worries, and be open-minded.
A lot of women find that it is easier to buy their husbands a book, as this helps them to learn about pregnancy from a male point of view. It also gives them the chance to relate to someone who is speaking from experience. Sure, you may think that you understand him, and he may understand you, but he will never experience the physical changes you are going through, and you won’t ever experience the feelings that he is having regarding the pregnancy, as someone who is not carrying the baby. Books are a great way for both of you to bridge the gap, so look into this and always show your husband that you love and appreciate everything they are doing for you, even though they may be wrestling with their own emotions at the same time.
It doesn’t take a lot to give props either. Little things, like thanking them for taking out the trash or telling them how hard they work is always a good thing, as it shows that you are noticing all of the little things they do for you. This is an excellent habit for you both to get into, as it will bring your relationship closer together and it will also prepare you for the amount of effort that will be required from you later down the line.
4. Let Him Know You Count on Him
It’s super important that you try and practice the different ways you can ask for support during your pregnancy. This will extend far beyond the post-pregnancy period as well. At the end of the day, pregnancy is a fantastic time for you to be practicing working as a team. If you are the type of person who is rather proud and who doesn’t like to ask for help, then you are not alone. So many people are like this, but at the end of the day, you have to put your individual feelings to one side so you can rely on the support network you have around you.
Asking for help can be a major transition if you feel as though you are rather independent. If you are the type of person who thinks that it is a good idea for you to carry a mattress upstairs when you are 8 months pregnant, then you really do need to take this point to heart. Sure, you may feel like asking for help just puts your partner out, but this is not the case at all. In fact, it can make them feel wanted and needed. It also shows that you have a great deal of love and trust in them as well. Acknowledge the fact that you need them, and that they truly are an integral part of your care, as well as the care of your child. There is absolutely no shame in you depending on someone, in fact, now is the best time for you to be practicing.
If your partner doesn’t feel as though you can count on them to do things, then this will wear away at their self-confidence, and it can also make them doubt their abilities when the baby does come. This is the last thing you need, so show them how important they are to you, and show appreciation when they do go out of their way to help you. At the end of the day, having a baby is a huge transition, and you do have to make sure that everyone is on the same page and mentally, in a good space. By taking the time to bond with your husband now, you can be sure to make them feel comfortable, as well as yourself. Sure, relying on people can be hard, but the sooner you start to ask for help, the easier it will become.
5. Be Honest About Any Expectations
Babies do have a way of creating a lot of extra work. While you are taking the time to enjoy not having to change a diaper or even being able to relax at night, you still need to take note of any expectations you may have. Stress has a way of inducing conflict, and if you do not take note of this then you may find that things become harder for both you and your partner.
If you want to do something about this, then you need to try and be as open as possible. Ask your partner what his parents did for him during his childhood, and if there is anything that stands out for him. If you can do this, then this may give you a good indication of how your husband views their own parental roles. Even if your partner is not consciously aware of it, it helps to prepare them for what lies ahead. Ask them if his dad ever had a part in feeding him, or if his father changed diapers. Take the time to enquire about making dinner, doing the housework and washing up. You have to remember that your relationship does not have to emulate that of your parents, but if you can do this early on then it sets important conversations in motion.
The main benefit of doing this is that it helps them to picture what their role is going to be which is super important. You may also want to work with your partner so you can talk to them about what jobs or duties they feel uncomfortable with, or comfortable with. If your partner doesn’t feel as though they can change a diaper, this isn’t a bad thing but ask them what they do feel capable of. The last thing you want is to be butting heads because your partner isn’t carrying their weight, when in reality, they just struggle with the idea of doing some jobs more than others. It may be that your partner isn’t on diaper duty, but they are happy to prepare bottles, take the baby away for a few hours at the weekend and even play a huge part in cooking meals for the family.
If you can talk about things like this, then you may find that it helps to ease some of the anxieties that your partner has, even if they are not aware of them themselves. It also helps them to feel less inadequate if for some reason, they are not able to do certain jobs. The great thing about having discussions like this is that it helps to bring both of you together, and it also helps to put you on the same page when it comes to the future. This will strengthen your bond and it will make you feel as though you both have someone you can truly count on.
6. Give Them A Chance To Come To Appointments
It is not unusual at all for men to feel some element of anxiety when it comes to pregnancy unknowns. Some partners have been known to develop stress-related health issues, or even Couvade Syndrome, which are pregnancy sympathy pains. Some men may also experience unwanted weight gain. If you want to try and prevent your partner from undergoing these physiological responses, then you have to make sure that they are fully included at every single step of the process.
It may be that you ask them to attend any check-ups with you, or that they come to your follow-up appointments. Let them hear information first-hand from a medical professional, and also give them the chance to ask their own questions directly, so they can get the acknowledgement that they deserve.
Remember that they are a very important part of this process and although they may not qualify for time off work to attend these appointments, you should give them the chance to if they want to use their days off. By asking your partner to attend your appointments, you can then make sure that they feel part of the bigger picture. If you get to hear the baby’s heartbeat at any of the appointments, then it is fantastic for your partner to be involved with this and it gives them the chance to have those little moments with you and your child.
If you are having some kind of baby shower for your child, then you may be tempted to make this a women’s only event, which is understandable as this is how things are traditionally done. That being said, this doesn’t mean that your husband should miss out. Encourage them to go out with their best friend on the day so they can look at baby strollers (sometimes referred to as prams), potential options for car seats or even clothes. You can then ask your partner to take note of anything they like, so the two of you can go and check them out at a later date. By doing this, you can be sure to give your partner the support they need, and you can also help them to feel independently involved. Some partners may not be interested in doing this, but if you show your support and if you make them feel as though they can be involved by doing their own activities, then this will work in your relationship’s favor.
It may be that you ask your partner to help you to prepare for the baby shower even if they are not going to be in attendance themselves. Either way, by helping them and by asking for their support, you can be sure to give them the chance to feel much more included. Ask them to pick up some supplies, such as bunting, cupcakes and more. If you intend on doing a gender reveal then you can do this at your baby shower with ease, but again, make sure your partner has the chance to do something similar with their own friends if they should want to. Some women have no issue with their partner being at the baby shower at all which is great, and if you are one of them, then this is your chance to get them as involved as much as possible.
7. Surprise Them
Does your husband have a particular sport that they love? Do they have a favorite hobby? Maybe they are truly passionate about football, or they have a memory that is very specific to them that they like to talk to you about. Everything from baby blankets to sippy cups and various other baby essentials are very meaningful, and this is especially the case if they are able to represent something that your partner is truly passionate about.
If you are a family who loves football, then why not surprise your partner with a football jersey that has their name on the back and then get one for yourself and your child at the same time? When you do this, you show your partner that you see them, and that you love and respect them for who they are. It also helps them to feel much more involved in dressing the baby as it helps them to showcase their personality.
Of course, if you want to make sure that your partner knows how valued they are, then one thing that you can do is try and surprise them with something that is just for them. Even having something like a keyring or something with the baby’s name on it that they can use will help them to develop that bond, not to mention that it also brings the two of you together.
Simple Date Night Ideas for Now and When The Baby Comes
Of course, there are many things that you can do to try and make sure that you prepare your relationship for when the baby comes, but at the end of the day, a lot of the work starts now. By having simple date nights indoors, you can carry this on to when the baby makes their arrival, and this will make it easier for you to transition. If you go out for meals all the time right now, then you may find that eating indoors doesn’t feel as good, especially when you have a baby to take care of. If you take the time to start implementing fun date night ideas that you both love right now, you can be sure to ease the transition while also making sure that you and your partner are both respecting each other throughout.
It’s good to start out simple. If you have a newborn baby then it can be difficult for you to find the time to book a reservation at a restaurant, let alone actually go for a night out. If you want to avoid this or if you do not want to leave your baby with a babysitter in the first few weeks after they are born then why not bring the restaurant to you? Grab a few candles, some blankets, and give yourself a romantic dinner setup. If you want to commit to them fully then why not commit to the theme? You can find a ready-made picnic hamper online, and this will save you from having to wash up. If your partner has a favourite wine or beer, then why not surprise them with that too? Sure you might not be able to drink yet yourself, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t mean you can’t find something that you love. It may be that you pick up some of your favorite brand of luxurious lemonade and that you get some chocolate truffles. Either way, there are things that you can do to create romantic date night ideas at home, and if you start doing them before the baby comes, you can make it routine and this is a great way for you to bond with your partner. Consider having conversations about baby names when you are sat down like this, and you will soon see that the two of you are brought closer than ever.
When you have a baby, you may find it difficult to just eat dinner alone. As a parent, it doesn’t whether it is your first child or whether it is your fifth because when you do manage to get your baby down for the night you will want to use your time wisely. Opt for quizzes that you can play online with your partner or even try and play a number of party games if you want some quickfire entertainment. If you can do this, then you will soon find that you can make yourself and your husband feel as though you are spending quality time with one another.
Another thing that you can do is try and cook together. When you take the time to truly appreciate one another’s company, you may find that day-to-day life becomes easier. The great thing about cooking together is that every single person requires food to eat, so why not use it to your advantage and use it as a way to spend time with each other? Whether you are cooking something as simple as bolognese or whether you are using your time to cook an elaborate lobster dish, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the two of you are bonding with each other and that you are taking time for your relationship. By cooking meals together, you can also sit down and eat them as a family, whether you are expanding it with your new addition or whether you are simply waiting to have your first child.
Of course, spending time with your partner is the best way for you to have them feel included when the new baby does come, and it is also the best way for you to improve your relationship overall. Of course, it doesn’t matter how besotted you are with the idea of your new child making an entrance into this world because, at the end of the day, you have to make time for yourself and one another. It can be easy to become overrun with baby priorities, but if you can make sure that yourself and your husband also remain a priority where possible, then this will help your relationship, and it will also help you to be there more for the child as well, which is very important.
Last, tell hubby to read this article… so that he knows how important your relationship with him is to you and hard you are trying!